I had another plan for today’s post, but then Mike and I went to a new restaurant for lunch. In addition to having a nice time and good food, I was twice enlightened by our restaurant choice.
You know from a previous post that I have strong and deep feelings about customer service in all areas -- -- the difference between making a customer for a day and a customer for life -- -- the individual’s point of view about the scope of his/her job, and so forth. (http://plunkchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/02/do-unto-others-as.html) On that lunch trip we met the poster boy for customer service.
We went to Rafferty’s in Memphis at Poplar and Perkins. Our server introduced himself as Charlie. After we received our beverages and placed our orders, I wanted to make a ladies’ room stop and, since I’m low vision, Mike and I both got up so he could accompany me to the restroom door. I really don’t like leaving our table vacant like that. I’ve experienced having the server clear everything thinking that we’d left. But it was necessary, so we left.
When I exited the ladies room, Mike told me what had happened. Charlie had delivered our food to the table and noted that we were gone. He covered our plates, then hunted down Mike to tell him what he had done to protect our food. Then – Mike saw Charlie return to the area of our table standing guard, so to speak, to ensure that no one would mess with our food.
Maybe you’ve encountered a server who is more thorough, creative or more dedicated, but I haven’t. There should be an award for this kind of service, and there is. Our local NBC affiliate has initiated a recognition for outstanding servers, and I’m nominating Charlie.
The Second Thing
The other eye-opener from that lunch was Rafferty’s croissants. I must admit that I have never given any consideration to croissants. To me, they’re just rolls twisted up to look cute. On my lunch plate there was a croissant that I almost left there. When I decided to have a bite of the bread, I swear the angels sang.
Rafferty’s croissants are so amazingly light and airy that they nearly defy description. They reach nearly the level of pastry, but without the crustiness of a pastry. The bread is soft and melts in your mouth. If the croissant itself weren’t enough to inspire you to poetic praise, the brilliant Rafferty’s recipe also calls for a light brushing of what must be a tiny dab of honey mixed with a smidgen of melted butter so your taste buds experience a most subtle whisper of sweetness.
It’s the understated excellence of Rafferty’s croissants that makes it the best bread I’ve ever tasted. Better than O’Charley’s rolls by far. Charlie brought me a second croissant.
If you’re in the Memphis area, make a bee-line for Rafferty’s at Poplar and Perkins. Order a basket of croissants and tell Charlie we said hello.
If you’re not here, Rafferty’s is a franchise restaurant so check your directory. Maybe you’ll get lucky.